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Two Words, Two Realities The Social Experience of Seasonal Agricultural Workers in Quebec




Mélissa Dubé


This thesis explores the social experience of Mexican and Guatemalan temporary
immigrants in Quebec who are part of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP)
and the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP). Two distinct perspectives exist on
the matter: that the programs are beneficial for all parties involved (workers, employers, and
governments); and, that the programs exploit the workers involved, who must make
important sacrifices and get meagre benefits. In the literature review, a neoliberal
environment is found to be a macro factor that affected the programs substantially. This
thesis, based on qualitative research conducted with workers and other program participants,
brings new evidence to bear on these debates. Even though the workers come to Quebec
strictly to earn money for their families, the social isolation and language barrier they endure
in their host communities make their lives in Canada often very difficult. While more and
more activities for the workers are being organised, additional efforts could be made. This
thesis concludes that, overall the experience of the workers is not poor, but there is clearly
room for improvement in order to balance their significant sacrifices and the benefits they
(and Canada) get from the difficult work they perform.

Number of pages



University of Ottawa

Departamento Académico

School of Globalization and International Development


M.A. (Globalization and International Development)

Archivos adjuntos

Los sectores económicos

Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations - general

Tipos de contenido

Análisis de políticas, Casos documentados de abuso, y La política actual

Los grupos destinatarios

Los investigadores

Relevancia geográfica

Canada, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Colombia Británica, Otras provincias, Federal, Nueva Escocia, y National relevance